"Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ascension to power seven years ago combined a Hindu nationalist ideology and a right-wing populist persona. Both these qualities have hurtled India into an unprecedented humanitarian nightmare in recent weeks and months." Join a discussion with Amitabh Pal and FORSEA's Maung Zarni.
India under the populist BJP government of Prime Minister Modi has been gripped with a series of crises – largely self-inflicted – with devastating consequences on the society of 1.4 billion people. Listen to a discussion on the Crises in India: the Collapse of Healthcare Systems, BJP's Electoral Defeat in West Bengal, and Farmers' Protests.
The failure of the Thai government takes many forms. Ex-generals occupying top political positions whose frame of thought is confined within their military expertise were not the right people to lead the country against this non-traditional threat.
While COVID-19 continues to attack the population of this region, they also become targets of the state, as they demand transparency of information on the pandemic.
The Duterte government will never be able to correctly deal with the pandemic unless it recognizes what, not who, the real enemy is. The enemy is not the pasaway, the poor or the rebels.
Duterte is floundering and clueless as a head of state. His arrogant claim to be the supreme arbiter of life and death over his countrymen has been rudely taken away from him by a virus that has put him in his place.
Now, more than ever, Thailand needs free-flowing credible information, vigorous popular input into the policy-making process, and grassroots organisations to implement public health directives. Human resources need to be mobilised in a national effort to stave off disaster.
Thailand uses Covid-19 to restrict the freedom to inform. Virus information that the government deems "false or capable of causing fear in the public" is now punishable by up to five years in prison.